SANIBEL, Fla.- Sub-arctic birds that resemble miniature penguins are showing up in Southwest Florida. More than 1,000 razorbills have been spotted along the coast over the last month or so.
Experts say the razorbills may have migrated south after Hurricane Sandy slammed the northeast. The Clinic for the Rahabilitation of Wildlife or C.R.O.W. on Sanibel has taken two of the birds under its wings.
"One possibility is that their normal food stuff, fish, and the things that they eat was driven off course by the storm" C.R.O.W. hospital director Dr. Heather barron said.
The birds doctors call "Kris Kringle" and "Noel" came into C.R.O.W. around Christmas time. Two visitors on Fort Myers Beach brought them in, because they were wounded and appeared to be malnourished. After undergoing surgery, both are back to a healthy weight.
"It's rewarding and it's why everyone who is involved in this organization does what they do," C.R.O.W. education coordinator Rachel Rainbolt said.
Normally animals treated at C.R.O.W. are rehabbed and released, but C.R.O.W. has asked for an exception in this case from the U.S. Government. Dr. Barron worries the birds would continue to follow the Florida shoreline and would never make it back up north.
"Right now these guys are potentially bound for the Portland Aquarium where I think they will do very well. They are very relaxed birds," she said.
If you see a sick or injured animal, you can call C.R.O.W. at (239) 472-3644, ext. 222.